Have you ever paid attention to the color of the airline seats? They’re almost always blue and there are very few exceptions to this rule. Some people assume that this color was chosen as it reminds us of the sky. But the explanation isn’t that simple!
We, at Engineering Insider, are ready to reveal this secret to our subscribers. And at the end of the article you’ll find a useful bonus: we’ll tell you how to choose the best airplane seat!
So why are they blue?
The first blue seats came into use several decades ago, and now all airlines choose upholstery of this color. According to British scientists, most people associate the color blue with reliability and safety, that’s very important even for the passengers who don’t suffer from aerophobia. Also, according to research, 90% of people subconsciously make a decision about the attractiveness of a company depending on the brand colors.
There is a practical reason why airlines choose blue seats – dirt, stains, and scrapes are less visible on this color, and, therefore, these seats can be in use for a longer period of time in comparison with ones covered with a lighter colored upholstry. However, since fewer people can afford to fly first class, airlines use bright upholstery there more often as the fabric wears out slower.
An interesting fact: In the 1970s and 1980s some airlines tried to use red upholstery. However, later on they had to change it to blue, as it turned out the color red increased the level of aggression among the passengers.
Fabric or leather?
As for the materials, the seats can be upholstered with either artificial leather or fabric. As a rule in aircrafts used for long-distance flights like transatlantic ones, the seats are upholstered with fabric because it allows for the skin to breathe, so the passengers will not sweat or experience any discomfort.
But artificial leather works perfectly for short flights. It’s extremely wearproof, so even spilled drinks will not leave stains on it.
- An interesting fact: The cloth that is put on the back of the seat, is called antimacassar. These cloths were widely used to cover the furniture in the Victorian Era. The name of this accessory stems from the macassar oil that men used for hair styling. This oil is extremelly rich and leaves greasy stains on furniture. So people put small pieces of fabric on top of the armchairs, where people would rest their heads, to prevent any damage to expensive furniture.